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Friday, February 17, 2006

40,000 OEF and OIF Troops Show Symptoms of Mental Health Disorders

From UPI, Health Business:

Nearly 19,000 veterans of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq were treated for post-traumatic stress between 2002 and 2005 in the administration's network of 160 specialized programs. The VA says it plans for 2006 a $29 million expansion of its post-traumatic stress services for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

In addition, 14,000 of the veterans diagnosed with PTSD were also treated for drug dependencies -- although the mix of drugs differs somewhat from the Vietnam era -- and 11,000 were treated for depression. Although all three of these most common problems were present in past wars, the administration has had to adapt its treatments to changing circumstances, Zeiss said.

The veterans of these most recent wars are older, because the military has relied more heavily of National Guard and National Reserve units. About half of the troops are between 20 and 29, and another half are older than 30. Thirteen percent of the veterans receiving treatment are women, higher than in any past conflict.

Read more on the experience of women at war in a recent post of mine, Women of War: Female Combat PTSD.

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